Following widespread irregularities at polls in Brooklyn Tuesday, New York City officials are calling for major reforms at the Board of Elections.
The problem was first identified in a an analysis of state voter enrollment statistics by WNYC’s Brigid Bergin. The Board of Elections then confirmed that more than 120,000 voters have been dropped from the rolls in Brooklyn alone since November.
“No other borough in New York City nor county in the rest of the state saw such a significant decline in active registered Democrats. In fact, only 7 of the state’s 62 counties saw a drop in the number of Democrats. Everywhere else saw the numbers increase,” WNYC found. The more than 120,000 dropped includes 12,000 people who moved out of the borough, 44,000 people who were moved from active to inactive voter status, and 70,000 voters removed from the inactive voter list, according to the station.
The New York City Comptroller’s office announced Tuesday that it would undertake an audit of the “operations and management of the Board of Elections.” In a letter to the board’s director, Comptroller Scott Stringer outlined several issues with voting, including the removal of voters. “These errors have conspired to bar first time and longtime voters from exercising their fundamental democratic right,” he wrote.
In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Board of Elections should return every voter to the rolls who was recently purged, WNYC reports.
De Blasio said City Hall has received word of entire city blocks and buildings full of voters that were purged from the voting lists. He said the Brooklyn office of the Board of Elections should be removed from the process.
He says the perception of irregularities “undermines the integrity of the entire electoral process and must be fixed.”